Thousands at Columbus Day Parade in Long Branch raise money for local charity

(10/10/04) LONG BRANCH - Thousands of people lined the streets of Long Branch on Sunday for a Columbus Day Parade. The event was held to honor the achievements of Christopher Columbus, celebrate the contributions of Italian-Americans to society, and also to raise money for a local charity.

The money raised at the parade will help open a family resource center for a charity called Michael's Feat at Monmouth Medical Center. Michael's Feat is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the families of critically ill newborns.

Famous musician and New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi donated one of his guitars for auction. It ended up being auctioned off twice; both times the winning bidder donated the guitar back to the charity.

The Amerigo Vespucci Society, one of the nation's oldest Italian-American clubs, ran the parade. It traveled down Broadway beginning at Route 36 and ending near Ocean Avenue.

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